Olympias, Queen Mother of Alexander
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The paper relates that portrayals of Olympias, the Hellenistic queen who lived from 375 - 316 BCE, have been traditionally skewed to present her as a wicked, powerful queen who would stop at nothing to get her way, but relates that she was also a loving mother who wanted the best for Alexander and was an influence on his greatness. The paper notes the suspicion that she was a mystic and may have belonged to a snake-worshipping cult, and also reveals that she used manipulation to pit men against one another, and she exercised her influence over Alexander to accomplish many political strides. The paper concludes that although the biographical tradition portrays her as tyrannical, even as evil, she was merely a woman ahead of her time who followed conventions that seem unfathomably cruel, but which were standard during her time. The paper asserts that as a queen, a mother, and a very important person, she influenced the ultimate fate of western civilization.
From the Paper:"Olympias, an Hellenistic queen who lived from 375 - 316 BCE, was the mother of the legendary Alexander the Great. Traditionally, portrayals of Olympias have been skewed to present her as a wicked, powerful queen who would stop at nothing to get her way. It is evident, however, that she was also a loving mother who wanted the best for Alexander and was an influence on his greatness. "Olympias was the one who first inspired the heroic values her son embraced, the sort of world view that might make divine parentage imaginable" (Carney, 2009, p. 201).
"Olympias was born in the kingdom of Epirus, which is now Albania. Her father was Neoptolemus, the king of Aegina which, by right, made her a princess. As a young woman she married Philip II, King of Macedon. Her husband, king Philip II, had many wives. Olympias was not one of a kind when it came to being in this station. However, Olympias was queen. The others were in subordinate positions in their culture.
"Philip's marriages were all politically motivated and the ultimate prize from any marriage would naturally be the resulting heirs to his throne. This was a typical part of the culture at the time and Olympias' position wasn't necessarily threatened by his other wives until Philip married Cleopatra who also bore Philip a child, and a potential heir."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Carney, E.D. (2009). Alexander and his "terrible mother". In W. Heckel & L. Tritle (Eds), Alexander the great: a new history (pp. 190-202). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Wilcken, E. (1967). Alexander the great. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
- Olympias. (2011, March 19). Retrieved March 20, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympias
Cite this Term Paper:
Olympias, Queen Mother of Alexander (2013, May 17) Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/olympias-queen-mother-of-alexander-153289/
"Olympias, Queen Mother of Alexander" 17 May 2013. Web. 20 April. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/olympias-queen-mother-of-alexander-153289/>